BDS

BDS is failing: a continuing series documenting Israeli success. (Sept. 2017)


Despite the continuous amplification of  BDS in the British media, the movement to boycott Israel has had no discernible impact on Israel’s economy, and each month we see more and more examples of Israeli success and BDS fails. Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting this dynamic.

Political BDS Fails

The next time someone tells you BDS merely wants to end the occupation, remember the words of the movement’s leader, Omar Barghouti:

Berlin mayor pledges crackdown on BDS

Berlin is now the third German city, after Munich and Frankfurt, to declare plans to stymie such activities.

Müller, who has been supportive of Israel in the past, pledged Wednesday to “continue emphasizing my clear stance for Israel and against anti-Semitism and racism.”

BDS tactics of “standing with anti-Semitic signs in front of Berlin shops” are tantamount to “the intolerable methods used in the Nazi era,” he said. “We will do everything in our power to prevent the use of our venues and funds for BDS’ anti-Israel incitements” and against the annual Al-Quds Day demonstration, an anti-Israel march initiated by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomenei in 1979.

In a statement, the Wiesenthal Center applauded the mayor’s pledge to halt municipal financial and logistical support for the BDS movement. In its annual anti-Semitism tally, the center often equates BDS activity with anti-Semitism.

UC Irvine puts pro-Palestinian activists on probation for disrupting Israeli event

The University of California, Irvine put a group of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) activists on disciplinary probation for two academic years after they interrupted a speaking event

The UC Irvine campus is considered one of the bastions of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS) in the US and previous pro-Israeli events held at the university have been met with violent interruptions.

In May, a delegation from the NGO Reservists on Duty arrived at the university to speak at an event organized by Students Supporting Israel (SSI) during the Anti-Zionism Week on campus.

Some 40 activists from SJP disrupted a question-and-answer session for about half an hour, preventing students from talking to the Israeli reservists by shouting and swearing, with one of the activists spitting at a member of the Israeli delegation.

The Reservists on Duty NGO filed a complaint with the campus administration, and the university asked the campus police to investigate the clashes at the event.

The Israeli delegation provided campus police with videos documenting the disruptive activists, and claimed they’ve suffered from swearing, spitting and humiliations from SJP activists throughout the entire week while protesting the “apartheid wall” erected on campus.

The decision by UC Irvine’s ethics committee to sanction the pro-Palestinian activists is unprecedented. The students will be on a two-year probationary period ending June 16, 2019, during which they will be required to attend 12 mandatory meetings with the Dean of Students to discuss free speech. They are also required to consult with a representative of the dean’s office before hosting or co-hosting any campus event. Any violation of these sanctions could “result in suspension or a revocation of the organization’s status,” according to the UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence.

 Frankfurt becomes first German city to ban ‘antisemitic’ BDS movement

Frankfurt City Council approved a bill on Friday that would prohibit the use of municipal funds and facilities for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activities targeting the Jewish state.

The measure will now be sent to the city parliament for a vote, slated to take place in a few weeks.

Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer for Frankfurt, who initiated and is steering the legislation to passage, told The Jerusalem Post: “The BDS movement does not only strongly resemble the ‘Don’t Buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists, but the movement is built on the same toxic ground and it is poisoning the social climate in the same dangerous way.

“BDS strongly attacks the fundamental basis of the legitimacy of the Jewish state and takes a detour via anti-Zionism to spread antisemitism,” Beck added. “That’s why we decided to ban any municipal funding or the renting of rooms for any activities of groups or individuals who support the antisemitic BDS movement. We also instructed our city-owned companies and called upon private landlords to act in the same way.”

Becker said with Friday’s backing by the city government, the bill “has already gained the necessary support.”

Frankfurt has a population of 730,000 and is Germany’s main financial center.

First Time in Jerusalem: International Children’s Games in 2018

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has signed an agreement to host the International Children’s Games in Israel’s capital with the President of the International Children’s Games Torsten Rasch, after the International Children’s Games (ICG) selected Jerusalem to host the games in 2018.

At the signing, Rasch passed the Olympic torch to Mayor Barkat to hold until the opening of the games in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Municipality Sports and Culture Administration director Ariella Rejwan, Sports Department Director Itzik Kornfein, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Sports including Avi Benbenisti, who serves as a member of the organization’s professional committee, and the secretary-general and executives of the International Children’s Game were also present at the signing ceremony.

Economic BDS Fails

Foreign investment in Israel up 7%

Investments in Israel by foreign companies totaled $12.6 billion in 2016, 7% more than in 2015, according to the Ministry of Economy and Industry Industrial Cooperation and Foreign Investments Authority. The figures show that 320 multinational companies operate in Israel, and the pace at which such companies are starting to do business in Israel has tripled from 10 a decade ago to 30 in 2016.

Frutarom buys Israeli flavor extracts co Turpaz

Israeli flavors and natural specialty fine ingredients company Frutarom Industries Ltd. (TASE: FRUT; LSE:FRUT) has acquired a 51% stake of Israeli company Turpaz Perfume and Flavor Extracts Ltd. at an overall cash-free debt-free company value of NIS 53.7 million ($15.1 million). This is Frutarom’s seventh acquisition this year.

BDS Fails: Israeli Exports Up 6% in First Half of 2017

Despite high-profile and widely publicized campaigns to boycott Israel, the Jewish State continues to thrive.

Israeli exports rose 6 percent—to $50 billion—during the first half of 2017, according to the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

The jump in exports was driven by rapid growth in high-tech services and incoming tourism, the institute said. Exports of services totaled $21 billion in the first half of this year, boosted by the rising trend in exports of computer and software services, which grew 12 percent to $6.8 billion. Exports of tourist services were up 16 percent, to $3.2 billion, in the same period.

Exports in industrial sections—including drugs, chemicals, refined oil products and electronic components—grew 5 percent.

ŠKODA DigiLab innovation partnership in Israel  

The ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and Champion Motors Ltd., the Israeli importer of the Czech brand, are now jointly involved in Tel Aviv’s digital start-up scene.​

​ŠKODA CEO, Bernhard Maier, and Prof. Itzhak Swary, Chairman of Champion Motors Ltd., have now signed a memorandum of understanding. The Mediterranean city is one of the world’s leading centres for IT start-ups.

“Israel is a high-profile source of digital innovation,” says ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier. “Being present there and gaining direct access to innovative projects, high-tech start-ups and IT talent is of great importance to ŠKODA AUTO. In this way, we are convinced that we can implement the region’s creative ecosystem and digital development competence in meaningful projects.  ŠKODA AUTO’s current focus is on areas such as rapid testing, creating prototypes and implementing digital technologies.”

The aim of the partnership is to open a continuous dialogue with regional leaders of the IT scene, as well as companies and universities.  The focus is on working with start-ups at a certain stage of maturity. Innovative projects will be identified at an early stage, from which new business models can be derived for ŠKODA AUTO.

Elbit Systems wins $93m aircraft upgrade contract

Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) has won an approximately $93 million contract from an Asia-Pacific country to upgrade its F-5 aircraft fleet. The contract will be performed over a three- year period. Under the upgrade contract, Elbit Systems will supply the F-5 with cutting edge systems, including Head-Up Displays (HUDs), an advanced cockpit, radars, weapon delivery and navigation systems, as well as DASH IV Head Mounted Systems.

Israel expects high profits after joint committee approves medical cannabis exports  

Israel stands to generate large profits from its burgeoning medical cannabis industry after a joint committee of the country’s Health and Finance ministries Aug. 13 approved a new measure allowing for international exports of the plant.

According to some reports, the state could earn up to $4 billion annually in revenue from medical cannabis exportation, an industry that Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said has “significant economic potential for the state of Israel and will strengthen Israeli agriculture.”

53 years of International Concerts and Performances in Israel: (Jewish Virtual Library’s’s comprehensive list of concerts in Israel 1964-2017)

S&P upgrades Israel’s rating outlook

International credit rating agency S&P is changing its rating outlook for Israel from neutral to positive. The change means that an upgrade in Israel’s credit rating is possible in 6-24 months. The rating could also be left unchanged if there is a significant downturn in one of the main criteria on which the rating is based, such as political stability.

Cultural and Technological BDS Fails

TLV in LDN

TLV in LDN, the largest Israeli culture festival ever made in Europe is in London, takes place in London September 7-11. 

The four-day cultural celebration takes place at the Roundhouse, a cutting edge arts venue in Camden, a neighborhood in northwest London. The program showcases Tel Aviv’s creative diversity and features a mix of Israeli music, nightlife, dance, art, food and fashion.

Highlights include rhythmic dance troupe Mayumana, a digital art exhibition curated by Ori Gersht and live concert performances by Ester Rada, Marina Maximilian and Yemenite band, A-WA. Infected Mushroom, DJ Guy Gerber and Palestinian-Israeli singer-songwriter Mira Awad are also taking part.

Free Palestine..but first, free mousse; BDS protestors can’t resist Israeli treats.

Israel boycott activists  outside the TLV in LDN festival on Sunday appear to have been unable to resist sampling some Israeli treats. In a widely shared video of the incident, Shaul ben Aderet, the top Israeli chef overseeing the food available at the festival, took a tray of frozen desserts to offer to the protestors outside. Though at least a few rejected the sweet peace offering, others were quick to take the chef up on the offer, as the video shows.

Conan O’Brien defies critics on Israel tour

When most celebrities come to Israel, they have a photo-op or two, give a performance where an occasional “Shalom!” is called out, and then are quickly whisked away to go back home.

But late night TV host Conan O’Brien raised the bar – the brazen, red-haired funny man spent a week collecting footage for a special episode that will highlight all the high jinks that ensued while he was here.

The most interesting aspect of the his visit, though, is that he is defiantly ignoring his critics and treating Israel like it’s an attractive (and normal) tourist destination.

That’s because it is.

Take a look at all of Conan’s stops here: A visit of the set of the Israeli hit TV show Fauda (what O’Brien referred to as a favorite of his); floating and singing “Hava Nagila” in the Dead Sea; meeting doctors from Ziv Medical Center who are saving the lives of Syrian refugees; and hitting up an Israeli hummus restaurant.

By all accounts, it seems like O’Brien enjoyed an immersive experience, with a joy that far surpassed most celebrity visits.

Surgeons Implant Revolutionary New Device To Treat Heart Failure

More than 23 million people worldwide suffer from diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart fails to pump sufficient oxygenated blood to meet the body’s needs. Scientists around the globe have been looking for an effective treatment for this condition for years.

Now, a unique device developed by Israeli company CorAssist gives new hope to those who suffer from this medical condition. Recently, Israel’s Rambam Hospital was the first to use this device in a 72-year-old Canadian man admitted specifically for this procedure.

Hyundai teams with Technion on smart cars

Hyundai Motor has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) to conduct joint R&D projects on future mobility technologies. The Korean carmaker and the Israel and Korean research institutes will collaborate to respond to rapidly changing needs and environments in the automotive industry.

Stem cell co Pluristem awarded $8.7m EU grant

Israeli placenta-based cell therapy product developer Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. (TASE: PSTI; Nasdaq:PSTI) announced today that it has been awarded an $8.7 million (€7.4 million) grant from the EU. The grant from the EU R&D Horizon 2020 program is for the Haifa based company’s Phase III study of PLX-PAD cells to support recovery following surgery for femoral neck (hip) fracture. Final approval of the grant is subject to the finalization of the consortium and Horizon 2020 grant agreements. This is the second such grant won by a Pluristem Phase III trial from Horizon 2020, following an $8 million (€7.6 million) award for its ongoing Phase III study of PLX-PAD cells in the treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), which was given in August 2016.

How the Booming Israeli Weed Industry Is Changing American Pot

U.S. medical marijuana companies are setting up shop in Israel, where fewer roadblocks mean better research – and faster results

Over the past 50 years, Israel has become the epicenter of medical pot. Home to Raphael Mechoulam, the pioneer of marijuana research, Israel is where THC and the endocannabinoid system were first discovered. And with the world’s largest number of clinical trials testing the benefits of medicinal cannabis, Israel has become the global destination for medical cannabis research and development. Now it is becoming the offshore greenhouse for American cannabis companies seeking to overcome the federal roadblocks standing in their way.

Israel was among the first countries to legalize medicinal use, and is one of just three countries with a government-supported medical cannabis program. Though recreational use remains illegal, support for legalization is a bipartisan issue, with some of the most outspoken proponents coming from the right. Until now, Israel’s role in this multi-billion dollar field has been limited to R&D. Yet now that the Israeli government has approved the export of medicinal cannabis products, companies there are hoping to gain a larger piece of the market. While importing cannabis into the United States is illegal under federal law, companies can get around that ban by receiving drug approval from the FDA – and that is exactly what Israeli companies hope to do. According to the FDA, nothing is stopping them, as long as they meet the agency’s arduous requirements for drug approval.

Conan O’Brien defies critics on Israel tour

When most celebrities come to Israel, they have a photo-op or two, give a performance where an occasional “Shalom!” is called out, and then are quickly whisked away to go back home.

But late night TV host Conan O’Brien raised the bar – the brazen, red-haired funny man spent a week collecting footage for a special episode that will highlight all the high jinks that ensued while he was here.

The most interesting aspect of the his visit, though, is that he is defiantly ignoring his critics and treating Israel like it’s an attractive (and normal) tourist destination.

That’s because it is.

Take a look at all of Conan’s stops here: A visit of the set of the Israeli hit TV show Fauda (what O’Brien referred to as a favorite of his); floating and singing “Hava Nagila” in the Dead Sea; meeting doctors from Ziv Medical Center who are saving the lives of Syrian refugees; and hitting up an Israeli hummus restaurant.

By all accounts, it seems like O’Brien enjoyed an immersive experience, with a joy that far surpassed most celebrity visits.

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5 replies »

  1. Some data on Israel’s growing export:

    Israel’s exports of goods and services totaled $95 billion in 2016, 3% more than in 2015, according to an initial summary by the Israel Export and Industrial Cooperation Institute published today. Excluding the sale of startups and diamonds, exports totaled $86 billion, 2% more than in 2015.
    High-tech exports (industrial and services) totaled $41 billion, up 4%, compared with the preceding year, and are projected to account for 43% of Israel’s exports of goods and services. The increase is a result of rapid growth in exports of computer, software, and R&D services, in line with the trend in recent years.
    According to the Export Institute’s forecast, exports are projected to grow by 6% in dollar terms to over $100 billion in 2017. Export Institute economists predict a real 4% rise in exports.

    Good work Bellamy and Farmer…